In a world where end users can connect to the corporate network from a variety of devices, does Windows (or any other operating system) really matter anymore? The answer, of course, is a resounding “yes” from most enterprise IT managers – at least in terms of enterprise resource planning.
Since support for Windows XP officially ended in 2011, most enterprises have undergone a major operating system upgrade to Windows 7. Few seem ready to repeat the process anytime soon, despite the marketing muscle Microsoft is putting behind Windows 8.
Microsoft says that Windows 8 is “enterprise-ready by design”, and is trumpeting improvements in security, virtualization, backup/restore, performance and IT management plus improved Wi-Fi and cellular broadband connection management.
So far, it’s a hard sell. In fact, Gartner said recently that 90% of enterprises will bypass wholesale deployment of Windows 8 at least through 2014. The primary reason for the delay is that the new touch-screen operating system is so different from earlier versions of Windows that the learning curve for end users could create a nightmare for support desks.
But it’s not too soon to begin enterprise resource planning for the day when your organization has to begin thinking about supporting the next operating system upgrade. After all, Microsoft plans to release its final Windows 7 service pack in April 2013. Sooner or later, some version of Windows 8 is likely to make its way into your data center or onto new hardware you purchase.
Windows 8 deployment is likely to start with niche applications where the new OS offers clear benefits to the end user. For instance, Gartner says that the OS could prove valuable to remote and traveling workers using the new Windows 8 Surface tablets. Companies with work environments where many workers share the same machines – such as laboratories where many technicians need to access data, libraries where patrons search for books, or retail stores where multiple employees need to search for inventory – might be among the earliest adopters.
Of course, long before Windows 8 is deployed in any enterprise, quite a bit of planning and evaluation is needed. Nearly all enterprise application projects are complex and time consuming – and many think that Windows 8 may be among the most difficult transition yet.
Without advance enterprise resource planning to time the deployment of critical infrastructure upgrades, Gartner says that the new OS may become a nightmare for IT management. But it is possible to simplify and streamline enterprise application projects.
InfoVision follows a five-part methodology for ensuring that complex enterprise application projects meet the challenge of integrating data and applications without sacrificing performance or accurate intelligence. The five stages are:
- Project Initiation
- Project Planning
- Project Execution
- Project Closure
- Project Transition
It sounds simple, doesn’t it? That’s because with over 100 enterprise application projects under our belt, we’ve put together the framework that can help us work efficiently with clients at every stage of the process. So if you’re considering an enterprise application project during 2013, talk to us about how we can help.
 Windows 7 Service Pack updates end in April, 2013, although mainstream support continues until 2015, and some extended support enterprise licenses run through 2020.